An Old Mac as a Recording Device
I have an old PowerMac 7200/90 running System 7.6 sitting around here that I've so far been using to run my Agfa SnapScan SCSI scanner (there's no drivers for it for Tiger, and I hate to reboot my G4 every time I need to scan something). It's a slightly odd set-up, as the first quick-and-dirty way to network the two machines that I could think of was to connect them using a cross cable and the G4's Internet Sharing option and FTP server, and Fetch on the old PowerMac. The 7200 has a sound-in jack, and not far from it my collection of old tapes where I recorded music and interesting shows from the radio is collecting dust.
Today I finally got around to looking for a sound recording app for this old Mac. I found one called Coaster that fit the bill. Most versions are for newer Macs with System 8 and Appearance, but the oldest one ran on my Mac. All I needed was a headphone-plug-to-headphone-plug cable (which came with my screen to hook its speakers up to the computer), and I was able to record stuff.
Coaster produces AIFF sound files, which means I need about 6MBs for 1 minute of Stereo sound (22KHz -- no use recording those aged tapes at CD-quality...), or 90MBs for 15 minutes. That's all that I can still get on that old Mac's hard drive, but it's more than enough for the average pop song. Once I have an AIFF, I can just FTP it over to the G4 and make a nice small MP3 from it in iTunes, and burn CDs matching my old mix-tapes.
... yeah, I know that Powerbooks come with a built-in sound-in-jack. But this cost me *nothing*. Coaster is a free download, the cross cable was a gift from a friend, heck, even the 7200 didn't cost me because the prior owner gave it away to phase out all those old Macs. So, have you ever used an old retired Mac to solve a problem inexpensively?